Iceland Travelogue: Day 4 August 11, 2016

Þingeyri. Photo by Jamie Simo.

It rained pretty hard this morning, so I was grateful I’d packed my rain jacket and waterproof pants. I still think this hotel was my favorite so far. It used to be a school.  I’m guessing a boarding school as our hotel in Ísafjörður is clearly still a boarding school in the off-months. There are 2 desks in our room and no pictures or other hotel amenities. The city itself is colorful and it’s the biggest in the Westfjords. It reminds me of the old Lego City sets and I guess it would because they are also European.

We drove up the coast from Látrabjarg and stopped at the Sea Monster Museum in Bildudalur. It was fantastic and fun. We picked up more postcards there and finally wrote some that we posted.

The main waterfall of the Dynjandi series of waterfalls. There are seven falls in total. Photo by Jamie Simo.

There weren’t many big stops on our drive today, but we stopped a lot for scenery. The highlight of that was Dynjandi, the biggest waterfall in the Westfjords. Dynjandi is actually a collection of waterfalls, each with its own name. It’s definitely a tourist trap, but that didn’t spoil its grandeur. It was annoying to see someone flagrantly ignoring the barrier around some plants to take pictures. Ugly Americans.

We drove all the way to Ísafjörður before we ate, so I was pretty hungry. I really wanted to try the horse at the titular hotel, but they told us dinner was at 6:00pm then switched it to 6:30pm and I had to eat. There’s a cleverly-named restaurant called Thai Koon. Not the Thai we’re used to, but decent for fast food.

All the shops in Europe close early, so we went back to the room and watched Trumbo on the tablet. We can sleep in tomorrow; the Arctic Fox Museum is 20 minutes from the hotel and our entry time is 10:00am.


Have a Party with Your Bear Day

So apparently today is Have a Party with Your Bear Day. Presumably it’s a Teddy Bear you’re supposed to be partying down with and not a real bear!

The Teddy Bear was named after President Theodore Roosevelt. The story goes that he was out hunting when his assistant tied a black bear to a tree for him to shoot. Teddy had been unsuccessful in his bear hunt up to that point, but a tied bear offered him no sport so he refused to shoot it.

On this date in 1902, a political cartoonist named Clifford Berryman drew the encounter and a couple named Morris and Rose Michtom saw the cartoon and became inspired. After asking for permission to use his name, they manufactured and sold the first Teddy Bear leading to probably the most popular stuffed toy ever. You can read the whole story here.

Teddy Roosevelt was an amazing president, and by far my favorite president. If you want to learn more about him, consider visiting his birthplace in New York. It’s on the National Park Service’s list of National Historic Sites.